They dug in. They fought hard. Getting a result at Anfield is a result that even Premier League teams find challenging. Ajax already had their work cut out for them.
FT: Liverpool 2-1 Ajax.
Can't say we deserved anything more than this which makes it less hard to accept. The workrate was something to be proud of but that would be the only thing. Learn and move on. pic.twitter.com/HM3i1Q7gep
— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) September 13, 2022
Alfred Schreuder would have had a fantastic feather on his cap had he snuck away with a point at Anfield. Liverpool are a formidable fortress at home since Jurgen Klopp was put in charge.
Mohammed Kudus stepped up and delivered again. However, for much of the game Ajax were on the back foot hopefully biding their time so they can get a result in the away fixture. A draw was the mission.
While on the counter-attack, Luis Diaz won an aerial ball to help it to Diego Jota who made a run down the middle. Timber and Bassey were going for the same man in a silly schoolboy moment. Jota squares it to Mo Salah who has made a daunting run down the right flank with ares of space.
Salah thumps it past Pasveer to punish some awful marking and open the scoring books.
Anfield is now pumped up. The camera pans to Klopp who looks chilled and wise enough not get carried away just yet.
Steven Berghuis had his arms up in air. An expression of dismay covered his face. He had a chance in the 19th minute. A wayward Ajax attempt landed at his feet on the right hand corner of the 18 yard box. What does he do? He puts in a well-powered finesse shot that hits the corner of the goal posts. Referee flag goes up. Offside.
Similarly, Diaz finds the ball at his feet and goes for a shot in the middle of the penalty area surrounded by half a dozen Ajax players. The ball is hit with good power only to miss the goal by a yard. This is a very poor shot given the position he’s in. Klopp’s animated reaction paints a picture.
In the 27th minute, Ajax are on a deadly counter attack. Berghuis on the left flank, squares the ball to Kudus who makes a hovering run just outside the box. Then a few metres in, let’s fire!
We could debate all day if Alisson is the best keeper in the world but he is definitely an elite keeper nonetheless. This shot didn’t even give the poor man a chance. This is a lightning bolt that shakes the entire frame of the goal, top bins and deflecting in off the top corner edge of the post.
Ajax are equal. Ajax are equal with Champions League winners and finalists – Liverpool. Schreuder signals a thumbs up and skipper Virgil Van Dijk rallies the troops.
27' – Goal for Ajax. Kudus.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 13, 2022
You can see a wave of Amsterdamers jumping up and down in glee in the stands. You can taste euphoria.
Trent Alexander-Arnold in a great position, forces a heroic double save from Pasveer to stop Liverpool taking the advantage before half time. They do just that and keep it level at the break.
In the 45th minute, Van Dijk had a great chance to score but header-ed an arguably easy chance straight at the keeper.
For the next 30 minutes, Liverpool had numerous chances and Ajax, somehow managed to stay resolute.
Not for long. In the 89th minute, Joel Matip scores a looping header really close to the goal and it somehow evades Pasveer. Celebrations halt for two seconds so referee can determine if it’s crossed the lined. The whistle is blown and off goes Matip, sprinting into the crowd and lighting up all of Anfield with a decisive goal.
Ajax players are hurt. They hold their heads in their shirts and Schreuder is filled with expressions of confusion.
JOEL MATIP SCORES!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/2jNQwinjIR
— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) May 17, 2022